Jonathan Flier, LMFT
Past President, LA-CAMFT
CAMFT Board Directors
Did You Know?
I was taking a look at the recent release of the “Behavioral Health Barometer” created from the 2015 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, the National Survey of Substance Abuse Treatment Services, and the Uniform Reporting System. Here are highlights that stood out to me.
In California in 2015, 12.3% of all adolescents (375,000) aged 12–17 had experienced a Major Depressive Episode in the past year. In California, in an annual average between 2011-2015, 32% of the adolescents aged 12–17 with past year Major Depressive Episodes received treatment for their depression. That means that the other 68% received no treatment.
In California, an annual average of about 3.8% of all adults (1,115,000) in 2014–2015 had serious thoughts of suicide in the past year. In California, an annual average of about 1,035,000 adults in 2014–2015 had Serious Mental Illness in the past year. In California, an annual average of about 1,874,000 adults with any mental illness (AMI) (37.2%) received mental health services in the past year while the remaining 62% did not receive services.
I think this points out that about 2/3 of Californians are not being treated for serious mental issues. I believe California needs to create a “Medicare for all” type of health care system. I think the one currently in our state legislative body is not enough like the national Medicare system in how it’s paid for. With Medicare, those signed up pay reasonable premiums and the rest of the cost comes from primarily the income tax which is based on income.
I think we need a California Health Care system that is fully funded through progressive taxes that are fairly applied to all who are earning. Those taxes should be graduated with the understanding that those in the highest income bracket have opportunities and privileges not afforded to those in lower income levels, and should therefore, be graduated up percentage wise with the highest incomes paying at the highest rates.
So that is my point of view. What do you think? Can California go on its own or do we need to stay in line with the other states? How would you like to see heath care funded? What do you think the impact on mental health services will be? There is a lot of debate concerning how much services should cost. Medicare pays very little and requires a lot of paperwork for getting paid. How would you pay mental health professionals?
You can send me your thoughts at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Jonathan Flier, MFT is currently serving on the Board of Director of statewide CAMFT. In 2008 he became President and restarted the Los Angeles Chapter of CAMFT. He has supervised interns for over 20 years at the Southern California Counseling Center and has a thriving practice that specializes in working with men, treating trauma and anxiety with somatic based therapies including EMDR, high conflict couples and passionless couples and consultations with licensed MFTs and LCSWs.